​When I was in Canberra two weeks ago for the Anglican Schools Conference, a number of speakers addressed the theme of “awe and wonder” and the ways in which seeking experiences that evoke these responses in us can be positive for our mental health and for building our understanding of the world and each other.

​In a recently published OECD report, the disciplinary climate in Australian schools was found to be one of the least favourable across the globe. In contrast the 2020 Alliance of Girls Schools’ Australia Report: The Girls School Edge: A comparison of outcomes for girls from single-sex and co-educational schools, cited PISA data from 2015 and 2018, which provides strong support for the contention that single-sex school students are more likely than co-educated girls to report experiencing learning environments in which they are able to fulfill their learning goals due to substantially lower amounts of disruption or distraction than their counterparts in co-ed schools.

This week at Lowther Hall we have been celebrating International Women’s Day in a variety of ways. On Wednesday, members of the Senior School Faith Committee shared their reflections on the role and representations of women in different religions.

​This morning, Lowther Hall was represented by members of the Year 12 Business Management class at a breakfast hosted by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia to celebrate International Women’s Day. The girls travelled to Queen’s Hall at the Victorian Parliament House and had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Dr Angelia Grant, Head of the Macroeconomic Conditions Division in the Australian Treasury.

​This week, while visiting the Year 8 students in Anglesea on camp, the girls persuaded me to give the rock climbing wall a go. As I made my way up, wondering whether my arthritic right knee was going to hold up, I remembered just what it feels like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to put your trust in others. I didn’t quite make it to the top, but apparently I made it far enough for the Year 8s to be entertained.

​This week I was interviewed for a history that is being written about the school that both my mother and I attended. In preparation I re-read my school reports, looked through some of the magazines (the equivalent of the Lowther Hall Chronicle) and spoke to mum about her school experience.

​The Lowther Hall Values Statement affirms our commitment to “an orientation towards our future which embraces our Anglican context, our traditions and our past”. One of the rituals that provides us with an opportunity to live out this value is the annual Founder Day assembly, at which we celebrate the School’s “birthday”.

​There is nothing like the sound of the girls’ voices to bring Lowther Hall to life! During January the operations team, maintenance staff and various contractors worked to prepare the buildings and grounds for the start of the year. There have also been several weeks of meetings, professional learning sessions, curriculum writing and classroom set up by the teachers, alongside the completion of the various start of year tasks by the administration and support staff. Despite all of this busy and important work, until the girls arrive, the school doesn’t quite feel quite right.